How To Find Free Images For Your Blog

Categories Blogging, Google, Guest Posts, Internet

This is a guest post by Namanyay Goel who is a freelance web and graphic designer, and blogs at Mos Le Tech about Technology, SEO, blogging, and Design. If you would like to write for TheDolt’s Blog, do read our page Be My Guest; Write A Guest Post.

It is often told to use images in your blog post. If wondering why:

  • They break the flow of text, so text is easier to read.
  • They work as featured image in thumbnails.
  • They work as a thumbnail for facebook.

Many bloggers are not able to follow this practice, as obtaining images is a tough thing. You have two options for getting images, either paying for them, or finding out free images licensed under CC for Commercial use. This article will detail upon the latter.

Image Credit

1. Google Images

No, I am not talking about the simple Google Images, where you search and use the first relevant picture (which most bloggers do). That is a very unethical practice, which may cause legal issues with your blog. What you have to do is filter Google Images for Free to use and Share images.

How to use

  1. Navigate to the Advanced Image Search
  2. Enter your keywords at the top.
  3. Scroll down to the “Usage Rights”.
  4. If the image is going to be used non commercially, choose “Free to use and share” or “Free to use, share and modify” depending on your needs.
  5. “Free to use and share, even commercially” and “Free to use, share and modify, even commercially” should be used for commercial blogs (ie, having advertisements in the blog).


  • Easy to use.
  • Large Selection of Images.
  • Lots of criteria to refine search (Example, color, size, etc)


  • Low quality images.
  • Bad Images.
  • Not a wide variety.

2. Stock Xchng

You’ll get many stock photos at Stock Xchng, even images which do not require attribution! (you’ll have to check the license though)

You just have to register for an ID, and then you can start browsing images!


  • Images are well categorized.
  • High quality images.
  • Wide variety of images.
  • Images have a feel of premium images.


  • Have to register to start browsing images.
  • Size is too large for web use, have to compress, and reduce size manually.
  • Too much advertisements.

3. Creative Commons Search

From creative commons search,  you get a variety of options, whether to search from Google Images, Flickr, or Open Clip Art Library.

How to use.

  • Choose the service from which you want your image (Clip art library, flickr, Google Images)
  • Be sure to check “Use for commercial purposes” and “modify, adapt or build upon”
  • Enter search query, and start searching!


  • Large choice, can choose from flickr, cliparts, or Google Images.
  • Easy to use.
  • Images fit for use on blog.


  • Not sorted in any methods, except by basis of service.
  • Often have to navigate a number of pages to get the image you like.

How to actually give credit to images?

Giving credit to images is required. Fortunately, it is very easy to do.

Take the URL of the page from where you were presented the image. It could be a blog post, or a specialized page for that specific image. Underneath the image, or at the end of the blog post, include a link saying “Image Credit” or similar. According to the license, you may need to put specific text, so be sure to read the license once. You may be required to add specific ALT or TITLE attributes to the image.


  • Searching for the correct keywords is very important. You cannot expect to find good images, without a correct choice of the keyword. Always try a few variants of the word, or a few synonyms of it.
    Example – I first went to google images to search for a camera, which didn’t get any decent results. Then, I went to CC Search, where I looked for blank photo, empty photo frame, for no decent results. Then, I had the idea to look for a camera clipart, resulting in a decent image for this post.
  • Be sure to look into each search, from Google, Flickr, And CC. search.
  • Read the license once, to know what kind of attribution is required.
  • Remember that you can take a screenshot, instead of looking for an image. In many cases, a screenshot from your computer can be substituted for an image which you cannot find.


48 thoughts on “How To Find Free Images For Your Blog

  1. Hi Pulkit,

    Actually, I did come across Compfight when researching for tools to use in-house, for our blog.
    I personally prefer the Creative Commons search. It gives me access to more resources labeled for reuse, not just images from Flikr. But when you have your mind set on Flikr images form the start, Compfight looks like a good tool.

  2. To find the right and safe images are also a big task and most people ignore this this and as a result we have to face the copyright issue. Last year most blogger lost there adsense due to Images copyright. overall nice helpful post for us

  3. Hey Pulkit Kaushik,
    Free stocks of images wow. I am also a blogger and i am using one tool from above. I don't know about other tools but from now i am going to try these tools also.
    As my own experience Google image search is the best tool to find any kind of image for free.
    Thanks for sharing this post.

  4. I am using Google Images since 2008. It has a lot of free images and you can filter explicit images in the result. Try typing "HD" "HighQuality" in google images search and it will display high definition images you can use in your business or blog. Definitely a helpful post!

  5. Totally agree with you Naman. Credit to the image must be given if it's taken from another site or blog.
    If giving credits is not what you want, it takes a little amount of time to do some research and develop a graphic/image by yourself. Take a look at some of the meme generator sites which are rage now-a-days – they are fun and can be used in wide variety of posts. Or else use photoshop or gimp (free) and try to make a simple banner or image with just text and some graphics ! It is not a rocket science afterall 🙂
    My recent post Always Start Google Chrome in Private Browsing/Incognito Mode

  6. Namanyay, I'm graphic designer as well so I totally agree with you and thank you for sharing this thoughts. Lot of people shall check the rights before they use any image. You mentioned probably all the methods how to get free images. Thanks.

  7. Post is explained very easy it is very helpfull for all blogger friends i l ike this post to much
    salute it 🙂
    My recent post Liquid Jelly Bean 4.1.1 Custom ROM Firmware on Nexus 7

  8. What most bloggers do is that they find images using the google images search, not keeping in mind the fact that many of these images have copyright licenses and cannot be used without prior permission.
    My recent post Google messes with Android, gets caught up in a mess itself.

  9. Hey Namanyay,

    I love using images on blogs. I definitely find posts more interesting to read when they are broken up with different kinds of graphics. Many people are highly visual so having eye catching images on your website can really make a difference. You're right though, it can be a bear trying to find good ones that don't require a payment of some kind.

  10. A very good post, and a bit of a wake up call. I must admit that I am one of those that pulls images off google to place in my posts. However, the ethics of it has bothered me. I totally believe in the value of a picture in a blog post, but have never really found a good alternative. I will check these options out, and I had no idea you could filter them like that. Thanks for the tips.
    My recent post An Analysis of Google Search Listings

  11. "You’ll get many stock photos at Stock Xchng, even images which do not require attribution! "

    I use that one all the time. However Google image search just helps you to search images – it doesn't give you the right to use them in any way. So as a web designer, I can't use it if I want to make legally sound websites for my clients (and how else?)
    My recent post Toronto after Google updates

  12. This is very informative guest post Namanyay Goel, I have learnt enough from your post.I understand now the importance of images taken during course of blogging etc.And I thanks to you that in simple way it is mentioned in the post.

  13. Fantastic article. Have never use Stock Xchng as I am lucky to be able to use the images from the startup companies and their founders I feature (screenshots and logos) but will definitely check this out for more personal articles rather than always jumping back to Google Images.

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